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Thread: Failed To Return - Airmen Died In The Second World War 1939-45. (Books)

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    Default Failed To Return - Airmen Died In The Second World War 1939-45. (Books)

    My eyes popped out when Colin posted this reply http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...647#post140647

    Failed To Return - Airmen Died In The Second World War 1939-45. The Roll of Honour of the British, Commonwealth and Allied Air Services. Part 2: A-B.
    Hobson,Chris (Comp.).
    Uckfield:Naval & Military Press,2018.
    p.534.
    Looking around on amazon

    https://amzn.to/2Ec7Q58 (If you prefer UK - https://amzn.to/2Xcv6HE )


    This is the first time I am reading about this book set - Does this book have information on all the airmen/airwomen?

    Is the Unaccounted Airmen Project merely duplicating what is already known?

    What are we doing that is not already done in these books?

    how do we continue with the projects like these without stepping on toes of authors who already sunk in hours..

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    Hi Jagan,

    Yes, Hobson's set of books does duplicate much of the material that the late Henk Welting was compiling, but it is broader in its scope, it includes members of the Commonwealth forces. Like Henk (and later, Alex Smart), Hobson took on a massive task to get all that information together. Hobson's work is complementary to what we are we are doing on this Forum.
    Whilst his work is massive, it does fall down in certain areas. For instance, if someone died a natural death, all he gets from Hobson is a mention of the fact that he "Died". Our "Unaccountable" series leaves him for dead in that regard. He also does not cross-reference other casualties, so you have no idea, as far is he is concerned, as to who they are. Hobson was also restricted for space, most of his entries consist of 3 to 5 lines, hardly adequate for an enquiring mind.
    There are the inevitable typos and errors, no more than you would expect in an enterprise as large as this.
    As yet, I don't have the full set of Hobson's work, particularly Part 1, (there are 10 Parts), in which, I believe, he describes his sources, along with various other appendices. I'll pick those up later on.
    Henk wasn't the only one who foresaw the need for such a listing, it was crying out for someone to do it! Many have tried, and many have failed! Obviously, Hobson has been beavering away for years getting all that data together, it is his cup of meat. Anyone who has his work on WW1 casualties* would know the way he works. He is very methodical.

    Here are a couple of sample entries (selected at random), that will show his methodology:

    (Page 399):
    Barnes, Warrant Officer 2nd Class Arthur John George, Royal Canadian Air force (R157147), Air Bomber, 138 Squadron, Tempsford, Beds, Bomber Command, 28 April 1944, Killed in Action, Halifax V, LL356, Crashed into the sea off the Dutch Frisian Islands during Special Operations Executive Special Operation Osric 59 to Belgium, possibly shot down by a flak ship, Age 22, Victoria, British Columbia, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey,

    and ...

    (Page 809)
    Bourke, Sergeant Robert, Royal Air Force (536588), RAF Component Special Force, India/Burma, 27 May 1944, Died, Age 26, Rochdale, Lancs, Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar.

    If only we could have had access to a work such as Hobson's earlier on, life would have been a lot easier.

    *
    Airmen Died In The Great War 1914-1918 The Roll of Honour of the British and Commonwealth Air Services of the First World War.
    Hobson,Chris (Comp.).
    Suffolk:J.B.Hayward & Son,1995. Also available on one fully-searchable DVD-ROM:

    https://www.naval-military-press.com...hable-dvd-rom/

    One other thing. I have been using the work (it is an A4, perfect bound, paperback of 1189 pages, and it weighs-in at a healthy 2.79 kgs!), for about a fortnight now, and it is already showing signs of falling apart (the spine is creased), not a good sign in a paperback, particularly one as large as this. Reference works should be properly bound, and hard cased.

    Costs? I had it landed in Australia for AUS$70.53. At 10 Parts, the average punter simply can't afford such extravagance/indulgence.

    Never fear, our work is unique. We put flesh on the bones, so to speak.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 15th February 2019 at 01:42.

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    Jagan (15th February 2019)

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    We have not copied from his work and for sure we as a group have put in many, many, many hours on this project. Whrn I could I used to stay up til 1, 2 or 3 am or more searching Flights archives, googling, all sorts. Alex and Henk have given over hours of their time, Col and Paul and everyone. No toes are stepped its been a separate labour of honour.

    Carry on and be proud of what you have acheived.

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    Jagan (15th February 2019)

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    Col.. does every entry in the copy you have have a fairly detailed entry?

    The DOAS types in particular. Of late a lot of theor causes of death have been dug out of British Newspapers archive etc.

    And Col... how do you have Sooooooo many books. Seriously. Have you this whole series by Hobson?

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    Dennis,

    I think I have answered most of your queries in my initial posting. By not mentioning everyone in my post, doesn't mean I haven't the greatest admiration for people such as yourself, and others. We're a team, with all that that implies!

    Col.

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    Wow, what a time saver it would have been. Sadly this is the first time to my knowledge that I have ever heard of such a series of books.
    Wish I had known years ago.

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    Alex,

    Discussed here, over a year ago:

    http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?p=244917

    Col.

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    Excellent, the forums focus on 'unaccounted', the non squadron types, the people with no obvious unit on CWGC (until recently), stands on its on merit and there is little overlap in that sense.

    it also comes down to accessibility.
    Sadly a website or forum can disappear over night, but while its available its accessible to all. The book format of course has greater longevity.

    Well done everyone, sorry I can't assist much any more.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Colin, I am very curious as to how complete the data on Indian air Force deaths are

    Could you look up these random INdian names that may appear in A-B?


    Pilot Officer BIKRAM LAL () 1941-01-06 India Delhi / Karachi 1939-1945 War
    Enrolled Follower AYA GUL (6083) 1942-05-17 3 Sqdn India Delhi / Karachi 1939-1945 War
    Sepoy ABDUL GHANI (2193) 1942-07-19 India Delhi / Karachi 1939-1945 War
    Enrolled Follower ARJUN (5136) 1942-06-08 28 Sqdn India Delhi / Karachi 1939-1945 War
    Flight Lieutenant BALDEV KRISHAN NANDA () 1942-11-10 India Delhi / Karachi 1939-1945 War





    These are just from 1942. At the top of my mind, except for B K Nanda, the cause of death for the otehrs is unknown

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    Col

    Thanks for info on this And At nearly 900 for the set that is a hefty investment

    Can you please tell me hat volume you have as I would like to conduct a very small experiment on the data if that I ok ?

    Thanks Paul

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